Keeping Pace

Keeping Pace

  • ISBN: 9781419768750
  • Publication Date: April 9, 2024


Price: $18.99

Laurie Morrison’s Keeping Pace is a poignant middle-grade novel about friends-turned-rivals training for a half-marathon—and rethinking what it means to win and what they mean to each other.

Grace has been working for years to beat her former friend Jonah Perkins’s GPA so she can be named top scholar of the eighth grade. But when Jonah beats her for the title, it feels like none of Grace’s academic accomplishments have really mattered. They weren’t enough to win—or to impress her dad. And then the wide, empty summer looms. With nothing planned and no more goals or checklists, she doesn’t know what she’s supposed to be working toward.

Eager for something to occupy her days, Grace signs up for a half-marathon race that she and Jonah used to talk about running together. Jonah’s running it, too. Maybe if she can beat Jonah on race day, she’ll feel OK again. But as she begins training with Jonah and checking off a new list of summer goals, she starts to question what—and who—really matters to her. Is winning at all costs really worth it?

Engaging and heartfelt, Keeping Pace is about wanting to win at all costs—and having to learn how to fail.


"This well-paced novel is a balm for readers who may be struggling with senses of self that are narrowly defined by grades or athletic performance...An insightful read that highlights the struggles and strides young people make toward self-awareness."

"The novel provides much-needed space to reflect on (family) dynamics, but the story is less about Grace figuring out her relationship with her dad than it is about figuring out her relationship with herself . . .  it’s through running that she gradually acknowledges her intrinsic self-worth, recognizing that it’s OK to just be."


"Morrison deftly captures the anxiety of being an achievement-oriented teen girl...while also creating realistic secondary characters who highlight ways to deal with success or the lack of it..."
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"Morrison utilizes insightful prose and a steady momentum to chronicle Grace’s pursuit of her goals. Her varying success and fluctuating perspectives all serve to make her feel more complete and confident, especially when she decides that “setting the pace that’s right for me” is the only way to get where she wants to go."
—Publishers weekly

Show More

You May Also Like